National Geographic : 1901 Jul
CHINA: HER HISTORY AND DEVELOPMENT 269 action against the Saracens. In 1688, four centuries later, Louis XIV ad dressed a letter to Emperor Kanghi, whom he saluted as " Most High, Most Excellent, Most Puissant, and Most Magnanimous, Dearly Beloved Good Friend." In 1844 the first treaty was negotiated. France later engaged in war with China over the acquisition of Tonkin and Cochin-China, and a treaty was signed in 1885 giving France juris diction. Germany's first expedition was in 1861, but her chief connection with China was the occupation of Kiaochau in 1897, which practically gave her con trol of the rich and resourceful province of Shantung. English intercourse began with the East India Company in 1615, when it opened agencies at Amoy and in For mosa. For the next two centuries this great company's interests were Eng land's own interests, but her position was that of a suppliant trader. In 1741, and again in 1816, British gunboats at Canton reminded the Chinese that Brit ish traders had certain rights that the mother country would protect. The embassies of Lord Macartney in 1792 and of Lord Amherst in 1815 accom plished but little. Relations grew more and more strained after Lord Napier and Sir J. F. Davis had endeavored by authority of Parlia ment to establish new and better condi tions. Open hostilities began in 1839. In 1841 the Island of Hongkong, now the most important port on the eastern Asiatic coast, was seized by Great Brit ain. This struggle was the celebrated " Opium War," which really opened China to the foreign world, and for which Britain has too often been un justly criticised. Though it is called the Opium War, opium trading was only an incident in the list of causes. The war was waged, in fact, to stop an endless array of grievances that had accumu lated during two centuries. The best re- sult was the opening as " treaty ports"' to the commerce of foreign nations Canton, Amoy, Fuchau, Ningpo, and Shanghai. In 1856 England was again engaged in a brief Chinese war, and trouble con tinued until the Convention of Pekin was signed, in 1860. Other treaties, the occupation of Wei-hai-wei, Kowloon, and kindred negotiations I pass over, though important. In considering Great Britain's relations to China in the past and at present, it should be borne in mind that no other country had or has so much at stake in commerce and poli tics. For that reason we commend her energy in the former days and wonder at her inactivity in the last years and months. AMERICA AND CHINA America's relations with China have always-been to her credit. Whether we consider the pioneer methods of our merchants and missionaries of a century ago or the work of our diplomatists and generals today, our Government has little or nothing of which to be ashamed and much of which to be justly proud. The records of relations begin with the report of Major Shaw, the clever supercargo of the ship Empressof China, which, loaded with ginseng, sailed from New York Harbor for Canton on Wash ington's birthday, 1784, and returned on May 1, 1785, with a cargo of tea. The Secretary of State was then John Jay, who, like his successor, John Hay, was an honored advocate of the legitimate development of American interests. Major Shaw reported to him, and he submitted the report to Congress, which immediately resolved "That Congress feels a peculiar satisfaction in the suc cessful issue of this first effort of the citizens of America to establish a direct trade with China, which does so much honor to its undertakers and con ductors. '